Introduction

Another broccoli recipe that actually is super good! I am not sure why I always had this recipe on the back of my mind, probably because it sounds a bit weird but at the same time simple (my kind of a recipe lol). I am addressing to the broccoli haters: Give it a go, you will not regret it!

Materials

For the pastry
  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g of unsalted butter
  • 1x egg yolk
  • 1x teasoon of salt
  • 3x tablespoons of cold milk
  • 1x egg, beaten for the egg wash
For the filling
  • 350g of Broccoli (weight of uncooked florets) approx 2x small broccoli
  • 1x shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2-3x garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3x eggs
  • 200ml crème fraîche
  • 200g Cheddar, grated
  • 30g of butter
  • 1x tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt

For the crème fraîche, you can use a vegan alternative for a lighter version!

Method

Start with the pastry. In a bowl of a mixer add the flour, the butter and the salt.  Mix with the paddle attachment until fine breadcrumbs consistency, first for 1min at low speed and then in medium speed for 2min. Add the egg yolk, mix to incorporate in low speed and then add gradually (tablespoon by tablespoon) the cold milk, until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap it with cling film and let it rest at room temperature for 1h.

Pre-heat the oven at 180oc/fan.

The amount of cold milk is a guide and it depends on the size of the egg yolk as well. Add enough milk for the dough to just come together. It could be anything between 1 to 4 tablespoons!

In the meantime, start preparing the filling. Steam the broccoli florets on a medium-height heat (7 out of 9) for 10-15min. The broccoli should be able to retain its shape (not very soft) but also cooked through.

In a frying pan, add 30g of unsalted butter and 1x tablespoon of olive oil, when hot add the shallot and fry in a medium-low heat (6 out of 9) for 6 min. Add the garlic and fry for another 2min.  Toss in the steamed broccoli florets, season and fry until you have some brown edges 5-6min. Set aside to cool.

The smell of the frying shallot in butter is out of this world!

After the resting time, roll the dough in a big enough circle for your tart-tin (mine is 23cm diameter) and taking into account the sides (4cm). Lay the rolled dough on the tart tin by making sure the dough is well tucked in the corners of the tin and the side crevices.  Cut the overflowing pastry with sharp knife. Pierce several times with a fork (see below) both bottom and sides and refrigerate for 30min. After this time, place a baking paper on top of the pastry and pour some ceramic beads (or dried lentils/beans). Blind bake for 15min. Then take it out of the oven, remove the baking paper with the beads, egg wash the pastry (1x beaten egg) and bake it for another 15min until golden. Set aside to cool.

You can take a piece of extra dough and use it as a tool to make sure the dough is well in the corners of the tin and the crevices. Very important step to avoid shrinkage!

Make the final steps for your filling. In a big bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and the eggs. Then add into it the fried broccoli/ shallot/garlic with the cheddar and mix well. Finally, fill the cooled pastry case.

Bake for 40min. Allow to cool for about 10-15min and serve!

Super important to let both the filling and the pastry case to come to room temperature before assembling. This way you can avoid soggy bottoms!

Discussion-Conclusion

Ok hands down for the best broccoli recipe ever! The crispy and buttery pastry blends together with the saltiness of the cheese, the sweetness from the shallots and the subtle but also punchy broccoli flavour. Just amazing!

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